180px-many_pennies.jpgIs it just me or are wages in the United States among the working stiffs going in the wrong direction?

Circuit City announced this week it was firing 3,400 workers who the company considers to be high-wage earners and replace them with people than make less money. (Check out my analysis on this at MSNBC.com.) And a flurry of recent union contracts have ended with major concessions on wages, one of the biggest trends being new employees would make substantially less starting out than workers before them.

Here are some interesting facts from Peter S. Cohan, a management consultant from Massachusetts:

This decade has featured record debt levels, extreme income inequality not seen since 1928 — according to the New York Times in 2005 the top 1% (over $348,000 in income) took home 21.8% — their largest share of national income since 1928, and a negative savings rate of -0.7% — last seen in 1933 — the depths of the Great Depression.

Another group in the top 0.01% are CEOs who send lower paying jobs overseas to maximize their business profits and boost their incomes. According to the Wall Street Journal, Princeton University economist Alan Blinder estimates that 30 million to 40 million jobs could be sent overseas due to globalization. For those American workers whose jobs are offshored, it could be harder to pay their bills. But the bosses who send the jobs overseas should be just fine.

Are workers doing just fine?

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